This is the statement in full issued last night (Wednesday) by Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire County Council Public Health and the Borough Council of Wellingborough regarding the planned horse fair due to go ahead on land between Great Doddington and Wollaston over the Bank Holiday weekend:
“Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire County Council Public Health and the Borough Council of Wellingborough have been working closely to review the planned horse fair with the organiser, to assess whether the event would be safe and compliant with Covid related regulations.
“Public Health are working with the event organisers to develop a comprehensive risk assessment with control measures for the event. Based on the current information available, Public Health are of the opinion that the risk of spread of the Covid virus due to this event is low.
“Northamptonshire Police and Borough Council of Wellingborough have no powers to prevent or restrict this event from taking place under Covid, or any other legislation. Public Health are only able to enact powers where there is clear and robust evidence of an increased risk of infection associated with an event and therefore are not able to pre-emptively serve any orders.
“As with any event being held in Northamptonshire at the moment, the police, borough council and public health continue to work with partner agencies and the event organiser, who is engaging positively, to ensure that this is a safe and peaceful event and that any risk of infection is minimised. We understand that around 150 people are currently expected to attend, although precise numbers are yet to be confirmed.
“Northamptonshire Police will respond to deter and deal with offending in the run up to the event and throughout the weekend in a swift, effective and proportionate manner. Patrols and local engagement have been stepped up already and a policing operation will be in place throughout the weekend with additional officers on duty, to ensure the event passes safely and peacefully.
“Officers are liaising with local parish councillors and community representatives to discuss and address their concerns. Rural and neighbourhood officers will continue to patrol the area and provide advice and information to local businesses, farms and residents.
“All partners remain very concerned by the heightened levels of infection in some parts of the county and will continue to support the organiser in ensuring that the risk of infection is minimised at the event and in the local community. The appropriate agency will enforce Covid regulations where necessary.
“The police and local authorities are also continuing to work together in relation to the unauthorised traveller encampments that have recently set up in the Wellingborough area and other parts of the county. A number of enforcement notices have already been issued and we will continue to proactively engage with encampments to offer advice and serve enforcement notices where necessary.”